Three Smart Banking Trends You Need to Know

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In the Q3 2017, Norman Chan Tak-Lam, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), announced seven steps for developing Smart Banking — stating that it’s not just something to consider but a must have. In recent years, financial institutions of various sizes have dedicated much effort to the development of online and mobile services to meet growing needs of PC and mobiles users. They encourage the use of these new platforms by enticing customers with premiums and discounts. However, are these efforts enough for banks to become “Smart”? Below are three aspects banks should focus their efforts on this year:

1) Strengthen the customer experience

Attracting customers with discounts via e-platforms is merely the first step to introducing Smart Banking. To get customers used to operating via e-platforms, convenience is key. For example, are your services equally accessible to customers on respective online interfaces, or is it easier to get information from the staff at the local branch?

In addition, for security reasons, some banks’ mobile apps or e-banking websites may require a second login to access certain pages. In spite of concerns of customers and banks over Internet security, multiple logins could be a major hassle. Can we solve such a problem by a new identity verification or anti-fraud security technology?

2) Analyse customer data

In today’s big data era, the combination of data and marketing can be very powerful. Is your smart system able to provide suitable financial advice to your customers? Can it predict a customer’s need for information about insurance, loan application or an annuity plan based on their behaviour?

The only way for traditional banks to understand their customers’ needs is to increase branch staff responsible for obtaining such information and conduct sales activities only after establishing client relationships. Would your e-system be able to achieve the same after an upgrade on its capabilities for information research and data analysis?

3) Synchronize multiple channels

Customers choose different ways to approach banks depending on different needs. For example, they might prefer transferring money via e-banking or mobile apps; for credit card issues they decide to call the customer hotline; and they only feel comfortable about a loan application if it’s processed in a branch. Customers expect synchronization of every channel of a bank. When a customer arrives at a branch, they expect a teller to handle requests instead of saying, "I don’t have access to your record. I’ll have to call the customer hotline for you."

Nowadays, when a customer chooses to handle certain matters via e-banking, they’ve already accepted limits as to what can be addressed, and understand more complex issues should be handled in person. In such case, do these e-banking and mobile app platforms genuinely reflect the name "Smart Banking"? Synchronization across multiple channels isn’t easy, but it’s certainly key in outperforming your peers.

However, even before talking about improving the customer experience, we first need to address the issues of security and anti-fraud, without which no customer or bank can upgrade to a higher level of Smart Banking. TransUnion’s IDVisionSM eKYC provides a unique KYC (Know Your Customers) solution, which offers industry-leading, multi-verification technology applicable on different channels. You can enhance the customer experience through simple identity verification procedures while lowering operating costs and meeting industry regulations at the same time.

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